“It’s been 5 years that I came to addicts rehabilitation center. I was hospitalized for 8 times due to alcoholism, so the hospital and even my family were about to give up on me. Entering this center was the last hope, but I wanted to quit it from the beginning because it was really arduous. Here, they embraced me with love who was wasted and torn. Since I am cured, I have come to look around others, and have willing to help them cured. Now, I am a leader of feeding program for the homeless.”
- Nikolai(57 years old), longterm inmate -
▲ (Second from the left) Nikolai who became the leader of feeding program for the homeless
Death of a homeless
One day, a Ukrainian woman asked for help. She asked to take an alcoholic homeless to his home who was residing near her place. He was willing to go back to his home.
Manager Chang-bae Lee drove for a good while to a country town 100km away from Lviv. However, the family was not willing to accept their father who was alcoholic. Lee could not but bring him back to Lviv.
Lee wanted to help him out anyhow. He contacted to local rehabilitation centers, but nowhere accepted him. After a while, Lee learnt of the news that he was frozen to death.
Lee felt so heartbroken. After all, this became decisive occasion of establishing addicts rehabilitation center for whom addicted to alcohol, drugs and the homeless who have nowhere to stay.
We could not look away the malodorous homeless and hopeless alcohol, drug addicts. Firstly, we came out to the street to meet them and provided them meal. We desperately realized that bread was not enough to change them, so we came to put spurt on the establishment of rehabilitation center.
▲ Miral Welfare Foundation Ukrainian office encourages the homeless to rehabilitate by providing the meal
Based on love and trust
Lviv addicts rehabilitation center in Ukraine helps return to daily life through labor. It supports people to lead self-supporting life back into the society after being relieved from alcohol and drugs through 6-months of community training.
Nonetheless, many inmates fall back on an addiction to alcohol and drugs again after rehabilitation. Even they do not have home and family to go back. Therefore, we provide provisional residence until they achieve real self-reliance after getting a job.
Generally, rehabilitation center keeps to strict internal regulations, but Lviv treatment center runs based on love and trust. That is why we reaccept people who once left the center but is coming back again with addiction. It surely takes longer time, without regulations, however, it warranties higher success rate than existing approach.
Also, we appoint a model person among long-term inmates as a leader of the inmates. The appointed leaders are in charge of assisting other inmates and of course themselves to maintain the will to rehabilitate, for example by protecting new inmates or managing farms.
Inmates who used to drink and do drugs freely desperately need labor which enables them to be free from alcohol and drugs. This is because they can get confidence and recovered physically through fresh air and labor in the course of witnessing the result accomplished by the effort of themselves, so that they can commit themselves again to the willingness to recovery.
▲ Life of inmates in men’s rehabilitation center
Beyond the local oppositions
Lviv addict rehabilitation center in Ukraine is not in favorable state to get financial support from the government or municipality, so it runs purely by the profit coming out of the farm. It is not yet perfectly self-supporting system, but the profit earned from the labor is being used to run the rehabilitation center.
Most of the rehabilitation centers require personal expense. But Lviv addicts rehabilitation center accepts every addict without any burden of expense in order to give hope to much more people. Even though it still has financial difficulties, Lviv addicts rehabilitation center strives to construct the self-reliant system prospectively.
▲ Inmates maintain the will to rehabilitate through perspiring labor, and the resulting crops help make up for the operating costs
Addicts rehabilitation center currently runs 5 centers in Lviv, Ukraine. Inmates overflow as the winter comes, even exceeding the accommodation. However, many inmates leave as it gets warm in the spring. It is because most of the purpose were not to get cured and rehabilitated, but just to escape from the freezing cold directly ahead. And yet, 10-15% among the inmates remains with the will for rehabilitation. It is by no means small figure. So we never forgive to support them, having further hope. Change will be completed as the people with will to rehabilitate gather gradually.
There was severe opposition from local residents at first. They feared the intrusion of alcohol and drug addicts in their life space. However, the prejudice disappeared, and rather they are now in a good relationship mutually giving help.
It is not easy to find a rehabilitation center in Ukraine. Addicts in pain or their family come and visit us through word-of-mouth. The municipality of Lviv also recognizes the effectiveness of addicts rehabilitation center, and counts on the center’s role in the local society by providing 7,000$ of tax cut.
“I am in charge of assisting alcohol and drug addicts and homeless which is special project of Miral Welfare Foundation. I was alcoholic too, in fact, but I regained happy life through this center. I have been supporting the addicts and homeless here for 7 years afterward. I hope more and more addicts get recovered through the addicts rehabilitation center, and return to their home and to the society.“ – local staff Denis(38 years old) -
▲ (Second from the right) Denis, relieved from alcoholism and now supporting alcoholics and homeless
Miral Welfare Foundation is considering to establish a social enterprise in Ukraine which can revive not only addicts, also the community. We work on for the purpose of employment of the inmates who are recovered through addicts treatment process. This is because the first and most important thing for self-reliance is to have a job, and this will let them return to the society successfully.